Last night my husband Steve and I headed into The City to see Mark Mulcahy play at Mercury Lounge. Steve has been waiting a literal lifetime to see Mark play live. I’m a big fan of his work with Miracle Legion and Polaris, and have just gotten into his solo stuff which is really, really good. I was excited for the show, because I love Mark’s voice, it was the baby’s first concert, and I was told it was going to be a small venue (I had never been to Mercury Lounge before so didn’t realize just how small the place is). Last year, we saw Radiohead live, which was a bucket-list item of mine. Unfortunately, the Prudential Center arena was just too big and impersonal, putting a huge damper on what should have been a religious experience for me. I was really looking forward to a small, intimate show with Steve and the baby and some great live music.
The show was awesome! It was really a great scene: a bunch of 35-65 year olds dressed really casually, none of whom can dance, lots of head bopping and swaying, no rowdiness, enjoying what looked like delicious beer. Oh, and Mark put on a great show, as well. His voice is so technically perfect, and as a songwriter he’s at the top of his game. What made the show so phenomenal though, was the bouncer.
You guys, Mama can’t hang. As soon as we squeezed through the teeny galley-style bar area into the show room (is there a term for this?) I knew I was in trouble. It was hot, and I was tired. We had walked 1.5 miles from the train station at a quick pace, as I was tortured by all the smells of restaurants, and I was hungry. After standing in the sweaty crowd for just a few minutes during the opening act, the wooziness began. I put my hair up, had Steve hold my tiny/surprisingly heavy backpack filled with snacks (“The Snack Bag”), and tried to focus.
I didn’t even make it two songs in before the yawning began, followed soon after with seeing grey, followed directly by my ears ringing. I think I told Steve that I was going to pass out, not entirely sure, and starting pushing my way through the tiny crowd to a brick wall to lean on. My timing was perfect, because by the time I made it to the wall, I couldn’t hear anything. My ears had started ringing so loudly that eventually I heard nothing, like I was in a vacuum. It was pretty terrifying, and when I found a free spot on the wall I fell into a squat, put my head down, and breathed. Within a few minutes, I felt much better, not as weak, and stood up, prepared to snack and lean on the wall and tough it out for the show. I think a mixture of the heat, the crowd, the hunger, and pregnancy fatigue in general just did me in. It was then that a beautiful man approached me, and asked if everything was okay.
I don’t know his name, but he looked concerned. I tried to laugh it off- “Oh, I’m just pregnant,” I explained while pointing to my belly (which under a slim-fitting top at 19 weeks looks like it’s about a 25 week belly). The beautiful man told me that he was security, and brought me a complementary, ice cold bottle of water from the back where the band was waiting. I could have kissed him. He told me to immediately let him know if I needed anything, and then a few minutes later, without me saying a word, BROUGHT ME A CHAIR. I was floored.
Because of this amazing bouncer, I got to enjoy Mark Mulcahy while relaxing in a chair, leaning my head back when needed onto the cool brick wall behind me. I sipped on cool water while raiding my snack bag. I almost fell asleep at one point, not from boredom, but from sheer exhaustion and comfort. Pregnancy insomnia had hit me hard the previous night, and I was running on little sleep.
Although I thanked him numerous times during the show for his kindness, there’s no way I would ever be able to repay The Bouncer for what he did for me. He was so genuinely nice, and by helping me be comfortable allowed Steve to enjoy a show he had waited a lifetime to see. I am declaring Mercury Lounge the #1 venue choice of pregnant women everywhere, and by all means, if you get a chance to see Mark Mulcahy play live, DO IT. Just make sure you have a chair, some water, and a giant snack bag.